General Question

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

An English or Communications degree?

Asked by Aesthetic_Mess (7887points) March 6th, 2014

I have asked before about why someone would major in Communications.
A lot of the times, an employer will say they want a Bachelor’s in Journalism, Communications, or English.
They’re obviously not interchangeable, or else they would not be two different majors, but what are the advantages of a Communications degree over an English one, and vice versa? Which one offers more employable skills, or would employers like to see?

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6 Answers

livelaughlove21's avatar

I’m not convinced that they’re not interchangeable in the long run. I’ve never seen a job posting that asked specifically for an English degree, or even a Journalism degree. I’d think Communications would offer more employability (totally not a word, but I’m sure you understand what I’m saying) than English only because it’s a bit broader of a field and could potentially prepare you for work in multiple fields, but I seriously doubt the difference would be noticeable either way.

As I’m sure you know, both are considered fluff degrees. Not that I’m judging. After all, I majored in Psychology with no intention of getting a graduate degree or becoming a counselor or psychologist. The “skills” they teach are not directly related to any particular job as they would be if you were majoring in nursing or engineering. Having a degree in Communications or English is about as useful as a degree in Philosophy. It’s useful in that you have a degree, but not so useful in that you weren’t actually taught employable skills. You were taught skills that will help you in your career and life in general, sure, but you won’t have anything great to add to your resume that you wouldn’t have gotten if you picked another major.

zenvelo's avatar

An English degree means you are proficient at reading English literature (novels, plays, poems, and more) and the writing about it.

A Communications degree means you have an understanding at how [people communicate in various ways, whether verbally or non verbally, through written expression, signs, hand signals, turn signals, pictures, etc.

They overlap but they are not interchangeable.

Cruiser's avatar

I have a communications degree with an emphasis then on Radio/TV/Film. Communications at my University was a Liberal Arts Degree and the Communications Department also offered an emphasis on Journalism as well. So it could be a little of both if you so choose.

gailcalled's avatar

I have a lot of college classmates who majored in English (and both my son and daughter). The degree enabled them to become doctors, lawyers, Indian chiefs, professors, psychologists, editors, journalists, photographers, college presidents, award winning screen writers, judges and astronauts. The college I attended did not offer degrees in Communication or Journalism. The two women who went on to become Secretary of State majored in political science.

ibstubro's avatar

I would largely accept @zenvelo‘s definitions, and therefor would promote communications over English for a degree. Plus it just “sounds” more versatile, if you were applying for a job that just basically wanted someone with a degree.

bolwerk's avatar

Eh, many BAs are largely the same ideas applied in different ways if you don’t specialize in a profession or hard science. Political science, philosophy, sociology, and literature are all dominated by similar Marxist theories. And you’ll encounter all of that in a good history program.

Journalism, communications, and English all indicate the ability to at least write. I guess journalism and communications are more professional tracks, and English is more a liberal arts track.

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